John Sjölander

My thoughts on Technology, Startups, Business and this thing we call the Internet.
My personal blog can be found here.

The fascinating thing about optimizing for growth is that it can actually discover startup ideas. You can use the need for growth as a form of evolutionary pressure. If you start out with some initial plan and modify it as necessary to keep hitting, say, 10% weekly growth, you may end up with a quite different company than you meant to start. But anything that grows consistently at 10% a week is almost certainly a better idea than you started with.

Startup == Growth, Paul Graham

Really interesting idea that optimizing for growth forces you to pivot into another, hopefully better, business.

Being headhunted

I do a fair about of recruiting at Burt. Every now and then friends, colleagues or acquaintances ask me something to the lines of: “I would be so honored! Why don’t I get headhunted?”

There is no silver bullet answer to that question. But here are a few pointers:

  1. Keep many touch-points. You are your network (in lack of a better work, it’s so misused). If you don’t keep in constant contact with people around you, and keep an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc., chances are I, or people like me, will never find you.
    Yes, this means changing jobs regularly, exploring new stuff, changing perspectives on the world by trying new businesses, etc, all improve your chances. Job-hoppers is the new black, as long as you’re the one hopping, and you’re not being pop’ed (read: fired).
  2. Be found. Not only are you competing with the people I’ve decided on. In the step before, you’re competing with the thousands of people who turn up in my searches on Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. If I don’t understand what your qualities are, then I’ll move on to the next tab, hoping I understand their profile. More is better.
  3. Ask for the job. Even if I found you, chances are I’m talking to you and a dozen others at the same time. I’m looking for someone who seems eager. There is no such thing as being over-eager. I’m looking for passion! Make sure I really understand you want the job. While I will do my very best to convince you of the opportunity I’m providing, you better do the same about the quality of your person. Much like picking someone up at a bar – if it’s single-sided, I’ll move on.
  4. A career isn’t up and to the right. Understand that the grass isn’t necessarily greener; it’s just another shade of green. While some things are better, some things won’t be. Maybe you take a pay-cut. Maybe you’ll travel less. Maybe your title won’t be as fancy. But you get all these other things I’ve told you about. Understand your deal breakers, and state them up front early on in our conversation. It saves everyone time.
  5. Make up your mind. If we’ve gotten to that point, make up your mind. It’s much like bungee. Chances are it’s exciting, and that you’ll survive. But you just can’t know for sure. So just get on with a decision. I regard you as a “No.”, until you’ve clearly stated “Yes!”, and I will act accordingly.

Just some thoughts. I hope they help! I’m happy to give you more and personal advice if you contact me. 

Best of luck out there!

Oh, by the way, we’re in perpetual hiring mode.

1. People buy things because of what they can do with them.
2. People buy things because of what they can tell others about it.
3. People buy things because of what having it says about them.
Look for opportunity. Move fast when you see it.

Look for opportunity. Move fast when you see it.

Remarkable work is always not on the list, because if it was, it would be commonplace, not remarkable.

Is business is won by emotion?

Anyone who know me also know I’m a fan of reason. Simplicity wins. Lucidity wins. If I was omnipotent, all choices would be made out of mertitocracy.

But the world is pragmactic. I’ve but little choice to accept this.

My stoic attempts as valourous reason fall short. I have only to leanr: to achieve quick results - reason is second.

In a business at constant evolution, little time is left for perfection. Achievment of results are often dependent on reason to emotion. While that’s likely effective, my stringent philosopher heart dies a little every time.

If I could stop time, I’d give us all time to a good argument. Us all to have time for reason. Us all to have time to convince each other of the common right, the greater good.

Has the absolutism of speed as a higher value led us astray?

Maybe this is our reality? That there is no good. Are we all, In the end, left to attempts of puppet mastery to achieve our goals?

I hope not.

I miss Ayn Rand.

Link: Mary Meekers presentation on the State of the Web

Mary Meeker == God.

Startups don’t compete with airlines by purchasing a bunch of planes, hiring a bunch of pilots and locking up a bunch of terminals at airports. Startups compete with airlines by inventing videoconferencing

Link: The entrepreneur classification system

Truer words have never been spoken. Ratios are roughly 100:1 for every level of increment.

Link: Dont work. Be hated. Love someone.


What’s Burt DNA?


What’s Burt DNA?

Link: ”Why wouldn’t a device replace gym membership?”

This sunday I was in the judging panel of Health Hack Day. This is an interview with me connected to that event.

I had lots of fun and met some interesting new people. All in all a very well executed event! Also, the first time I’ve seen human urine on stage during a demo. And hopefully the last. :-)

Link: The valley is dead

In the same line of thinking as I was writing about the other day.

Link: The default state of a startup is failure

What information consumes is rather obvious. It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.